August 31, 2010

Wild Sweet Orange//Wrestle with God

Allow your mouth to water, because it’s Sweets Week.

I don’t know about you guys, but my family has a series of weird phrases that nobody else in the entire world seems to use anymore. I think a lot of these originated with my paternal grandfather. For example, does anyone you know say, “hold onto your girdles, girls,” when driving around particularly harsh curved highway on-ramps? Nope? Didn’t think so.

One of these phrases is, “sweet as sugar, sweet as sugar.” This is one you can say when eating a piece of fruit that is, well, as sweet as sugar.

Wild Sweet Orange, a band from Alabama, is also as sweet as sugar…just as you can imagine actual wild sweet oranges would be.

This song hit the blogs a few years back and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, looks like the band is currently on hiatus.



Wrestle with God.mp3

Is that the wind blowing through the tops of trees?
Are the cars humming through the streets?
It’s the moment passing right through me,
‘Cause the past is the only thing I see.

Wild Sweet Nothings :I’m kind of a freak, but I don’t like Watermelons. I get a lot of shit for this every single summer, so I make an effort to keep trying the much-beloved fruit. It’s not the flavor, it’s the texture. Give me some strawberries, give me some raspberries, give me a peach, give me a mango!

August 30, 2010

The Two Man Gentlemen Band//Chocolate Milk

Liquid Cavities: Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

Something about the end of summer really brings out my extreme sugar cravings. Thus, I am happy to announce Sweets Week here at OSS. I’ll be focusing on songs about or by bands that take their names from delicious things. First up: everyone’s favorite tasty beverage, chocolate milk.

Serious Business Records says:

The Two Man Gentlemen Band's hot, raucous, old-time Vaudevillian sound has made them an underground sensation. They traverse the country incessantly, playing hundreds of shows per year including recent dates with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
Their style - musically & visually - incorporates elements of hot jazz, rhythm & blues, tin-pan alley, and western swing and their original songs consistently "prove that making old-fashioned music needn't be polite or predictable" (Time Out New York). They deftly balance lighthearted and often hysterical romps about reefer, wine, boy/girl parties, and chocolate milk with tender ballads of loneliness and fidelity.


This song espouses the simple beauty and ample benefits of chocolate milk. Cocoa beans and heavy cream are a basic but heavenly combo. It’s delicious. It’s nutritious (sorta). It’s fun. You can blow bubbles in it. You can do blow and stay up all night drinking it. All bases are covered in this old-timey ode to the syrupy stuff.

I mean, really, think about it. Milk. It’s so boring. Maybe it’s just because I’m an east coaster, but there’s no way I could ever just drink milk on its own. That said, add a little chocolate and I’m there. Rufus Wainwright is obviously also there. Two Man Gentlemen Band is also there. We’re having a chocolate-milk-appreciation party—me, Rufus, and the gentlemen. OK, who's bringing the straws?



Chocolate Milk.mp3

And who’ll fetch my amphetamines?
I will, I will, I will!
I might want to stay up all night, drinking chocolate milk.


Sweet Intention: My favorite candy store, hands down, is Economy Candy in the Lower East Side. Goetz Caramels? Check. Candy Cigarettes? Check. Nerds? Check. Giant Collectible Pez Dispensers? Uh, check.

August 27, 2010

The Shamblers//Dog Jobs


Ready for a Break from the Rat Race? Local Music Friday
What's up with Local Music Fridays?

More dogs!!!

Yes, it's down to the wire, but welcome now to this 63rd edition of Local Music Friday.

Tonight, I'd like to highlight a band that we were lucky enough to play a show with last week. They are called The Shamblers and their music is fast, fun and irreverent.

This song, performed live on WFMU, is mainly about jobs and the different kinds you can have. The definition of "job" is rather liberal, as the (rotating) lyrics frequently include "unemployed," which is less a job and more the lack of a job. But heck, who's counting? Last week, "sous chef" was also included, which I thought was brilliant.

Now, speaking of jobs, sit back and relax. Hopefully the fact that we're an hour away from the weekend means you're off the hook for the next 48 hours. That's right, no "referee" or "piano tuner" for you.

To hear more Shamblers, including a studio version of this song and a really awesome cover of "Copkiller," go here.



Dog Jobs.mp3

Grave digger,
Crossing guard,
Doctor,
Lawyer,
Pro Wrestler,
Butler,
Drug Sniffer,
DA.

August 25, 2010

Big Mama Willie Mae Thornton, Elvis Presley//Hound Dog

Friends, I'm pretty siked to say that tomorrow I'm going to be co-leading a workshop, the subject of which is the art of the houseshow, at the Brooklyn-based Willie Mae Rock and Roll Camp for Girls. Last night I compiled a digital file of pictures from houseshows over the years and fantastic fliers made by friends and conspirators. This almost brought a tear to my eye. What is it about houseshows? I don't know. They are magical.

Switching gears, the camp, which is awesome through and through, is named for "Big Mama" Willie Mae Thornton, also awesome through and through. This is the song they've decided to take up as their anthem, understandably. Like yesterday's featured performer, Big Mama grew up in the south and learned to sing in church.

In addition to being one of the first women to play the music that was soon to become "rock and roll," Big Mama was the first person to record this song, which later went on to be one of Elvis's most recognizable hits. Her version is deeper, darker, slower, richer and generally sexier than The King's pop hit. Not that his version is bad. Although, changing that lyric to: "you never caught a rabbit?" Really? REALLY? Once you hear Big Mama's sultry version, you'll never go back. Long live the queen.



Hound Dog.mp3 [Big Mama Version]



Hound Dog.mp3 [Elvis Version]

You ain't nothing but a hound dog,
Been snoopin' round my door.
You ain't nothing but a hound dog,
Been snoopin' round my door.
You can wag your tail,
But I ain't gon' feed you no more.
You told me you was high class,
But I can see through that.
You told me you was high class,
But I can see through that.
Daddy, I know
You ain't a real cool cat.

August 24, 2010

Cee-Lo//Fuck You

Continuing on the bad word theme of yesterday, I think I would be derelict in my duties as a “music blogger” if I didn’t shout out this song, which has been burning up the internet airwaves and everyone’s social networking feeds for, oh, what, a few days? When a catchy, soulful, (profanity laden) song can be released via a simple text-based video and captivate such interest within a day and a half, do we need proof that the music industry has completely shifted? What I’m trying to say here is that anyone who had any doubts about radio being totally 100% dead should commence shutting the fuck up now.

Strange and brilliant Cee-Lo has released a song that’s classically soulful in its instrumentation and lyrical themes, while also being thoroughly contemporary in its delivery. The narrator laments the loss of his love and dishes about the “pain in his chest” over a rich piano line, bass riff and plenty of Mo-towny backup vocals. Of course, he also asks, “ain’t that some shit?,” calls out his former love as a “golddigger,” compares himself to an Atari and positively croons that perfectly smooth hook, “fuck you and fuck her too.”

Why is everyone freaking out about this song? Besides the fact that it’s a solid tune, two reasons:

1. We haven’t had that definitive hit of the summer yet. Though this one’s a little late to the game, it’s got all the elements we want in a warm-weather jam—an addictive chorus, interesting vocals and references to driving around in cars.
2. It’s a great statement on where we are culturally as a society. Everyone loves the aesthetic of the classic soul sound (same reason all your friends have washed-out hipstamatic shots as their default profile pictures, same reason Chillwave came to be), but it’s also totally about today (Xboxes and expletives). It sounds like it’s from the 60s, but it’s so full of curses that it can’t even be played on what was the main mode of disseminating commercial hits in the 60s: the radio. Cee-Lo did this really well (heck, Cee-Lo DOES this really well—we all remember that Star Wars stunt). We get the joke. We LOVE this particular joke. I’m totally into it. I’m laughing right now as I type this.

In closing, enjoy it while it lasts, because as we know, these things don’t last forever. In a few weeks, the spark will be gone and we won’t be able to stand it. Also, do what you can to avoid the 50 Cent version. I really mean it. I’m not even linking to it here. No way to add 50 cent words to dress up that little attention stunt: it is plain old cheap and bad. This, on the other hand, rules:



Fuck You.mp3

Yeah, I’m sorry I can’t afford a Ferrari,
But that don’t mean I can’t get you there.
I guess he’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari
But the way you play your game ain’t fair.

August 23, 2010

Little Gold//Completely Fucked!

Starting the Week Off Right: Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

It’s Monday and completely fucked is how I feel. You guys?

Jessi from Goldest Egg wants you to know:

Former Woods songwriter and Meneguar member, Christian DeRoeck is back with the Completely Fucked! 7", his second release as Little Gold. Vastly different from the melancholy country of debut LP On the Knife (2009), these two songs are brimming with fuzzy guitars, sweet harmonies, and what sounds like youthful exuberance. DeRoeck's lyrical content is morose as ever, but on this record it comes packed in two and a half-minute pop songs. The most immediate difference is the addition of Brian Markham on bass and Pat Broderick on drums, both of Brooklyn psych-rockers Ancient Sky, and Broderick of beloved DC hardcore outfit Majority Rule.

Released in an initial run of 300 on NYC label Heart Break Beat (Beach House, Vincent Black Shadow, Virgin Forest) this record is a taste of what’s to come. Little Gold heads back into the studio this year to record the follow-up to On the Knife.


Remember Expletive Week? Maybe it’s time for Expletive Week Redux. But seriously, any song called “Completely Fucked” that can sound as shiny and happy as this is a winner in my book. Now, Tuesday, can we get on with it?



Completely Fucked!.mp3

Little Gold’s on tour. Tour dates here.

August 19, 2010

The Streets//Sharp Darts

I had my iPod on shuffle while on the train home last night. This song came on. I was excited!

There was a time when I had a little love affair with the clever cockneyness that is The Streets AKA Mike Skinner. Listening back now, I realize most of it is pretty bad. This album has some gems, some guilty-pleasure worthy tracks...and some serious lame-os. His next album was a concept record about losing 1,000 quid. OK.

Still, the bangers are undeniable. "Don't Mug Yourself," "Fit But You Know It," that song about getting completely trashed in Amsterdam and of course, this one, which is amazing. I remember the first time I heard it on WFMU...when the whole concept of British Rap was downright unbelievable.



Sharp Darts.mp3

I walk the beat like a policemen,
No karma pedestrian.
In 500 years, they'll play this song in museums.
I'm the bold adventurer,
UK's ambassador,
Holding up Excalibur,
Your beats are inferior.
Don't wanna embarrass ya,
So call yer solicitor,
The jury voted unanimously against ya.
Sharp darts spitting masters,
Spitting darts faster,
Shut up I'm the driver, you're the passenger.
I'll reign superior.
The pressure blows the dial on your barometer.
Do you understand?
Or do you need an interpreter?

August 18, 2010

The Corin Tucker Band//Doubt

We interrupt your daily scheduled program with this special announcement for all Enormously and Completely Gay for Sleater-Kinney Types Like Me: Corin Tucker is putting out a solo album.

In my (rather extreme) opinion, nothing Corin, Carrie or Janet could do on their own will ever trump the genius of the best SK albums. That said, what made SK great was the chemistry between three incredibly talented ladies, and, as such, anything they do on their own will be fully AWESOME.

Example: the teaser track off Tucker’s forthcoming (slated for October) album, 1,000 Years, which features her classic passionate vocals juxtaposed against some new sounds (a stark little organ, a violin?) and some familiar (think: the fuzzy rhythm guitar you hear on SK albums, without Carrie’s brilliant riffs, because that’s exactly what it is). Tucker has assembled a new band to support her songs, the punnily named Corin Tucker Band (although one can’t help but wonder if she’s overused the joke a little, after naming her own son “Marshall”). On a serious note, the group features Sarah Lund of Unwound and Seth Lorinczi of Golden Bears .

If this song is any hint of things to come, I’m pretty fucking stoked.
It’s catchy. It’s tough. It’s gonna be good. I cannot wait.



Doubt.mp3

You know that familiar song, call to me.
Break up with the boogie, break up with the beat,
I just can’t forget what it means to me.
I tried, I tried,
But I couldn’t leave.

August 17, 2010

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers//Roadrunner

Well, hi. Hello! It’s been a while. I hope you had a good time with E. Isn't he a great host? In the meantime, we’ve got some catching up to do.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation:
Drove. A lot. Over 1,600 miles, to be exact. I also took trains, buses and light rails in lots of cities and states. I attended two separate family vacations in two idyllic northern locales. I ate lobster and almost swam to Canada. That pretty much sums it up.

I’ve always had a bit of an odd penchant for long solo roadtrips, which has only been made more palpable by living a largely carless life in NYC. Ever since an ex trained me to drive for ungodly stretches of time (over ungodly stretches of highway at ungodly speeds), I’ve been a little hooked. I’m one of those annoying “time-beater” types. “Oh, this is supposed to take 10 hours. I’m going to do it in 8.”

To me, the best part of a solo summer roadtrip is complete control over the music selection. There’s nothing better than singing along at the top of your lungs, completely out of tune, with whatever you’ve decided to play.

This song is the ultimate love song to both these things. It’s about the wonder and adventure of the road and the complete devotion to the soundtrack that accompanies it. It’s about these things intertwining in a magical way.

I, however, am not in love with Massachusetts. On the contrary, it ranks high on my list of least favorite states. Sorry, Jonathan Richman.



Roadrunner.mp3

I’m in love with the radio on.
It helps me from being alone late at night.
It helps me from being lonely late at night.
I don’t feel so bad now in the car,
Don’t feel so alone with the radio on,
Like a roadrunner.
The highway is your girlfriend as you go by quick.
Suburban trees, suburban speed ,
And it smells like heaven.
I say roadrunner once,
Roadrunner twice,
I'm in love with rock and roll and I'll be out all night!
Roadrunner,
That's right
Well now
Roadrunner, roadrunner,
Going faster miles an hour.

August 13, 2010

The Drums//Saddest Summer

Local Music Friday
What's up with Local Music Friday?

You guys! Can you believe we've been together for two weeks? That's longer than most of my relationships! It's been so much fun sharing great music and stories with you. I hoped that you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

I thought I'd bring things full circle with another song about Summer. The Drums put out their self titled LP this June but this track comes off their 2009 EP Summertime. It's a bouncy and bright song about learning you hate the people you are supposed to love! I could never hate you guys, though! Try and keep cool for the rest of the summer and OSS will return with your regularly scheduled G on Monday. XO



Saddest Summer.mp3

If you've got some childen, just love 'em
If you've got a baby jsut hold 'em

August 12, 2010

Grouper//Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping

Let's slow things down a little today. Didn't Tuesday feel like it should have been a Thursday this week? Everyone close your eyes, take a deep breath and mellow out to this song by Grouper.

I had a professor in college who would start every class with 5 minutes of meditation and she would play something off the Pure Moods album every time. Remember those ads? Did you know that the theme from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was on that thing? I didn't know that terror was categorized as a pure mood! There was also a track by former Peter Greenaway collaborator Michael Nyman AND David Byrne. And who can forget The X Files Theme?

But I digress. I love listening to Grouper when I need to chill out, especially her last LP, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. This song is the second track off the album, entitled Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping. Grouper is Liz Harris, an amazingly talented musician and artist. Check out the video for Hold the Way. Harris is the kind of artist that addles my OCD because she is so prolific and I want to collect everything she creates.



Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping.mp3

I'd rather be sleeping,
I'd rather fall in a tidal wave

August 11, 2010

Bongwater//Obscene & Pornographic Art

So I'm feeling a little loopy today from lack of sleep. Seems like the perfect time to listen to some crazy-ass music. Yesterday I mentioned Ann Magnuson, a member of Pulsallama. Later on in her musical career, Magnuson and Mark Kramer, who owned and ran Shimmy Disc Records, founded Bongwater.

I wanted to play you guys the title track off The Power of Pussy, but Richard Metzger over at Dangerous Minds has an amazing story about making the video, which is definitely worth reading. Instead, I'm going to go with another track off that album, Obscene & Pornographic Art. Each track on the album features Magnuson inhabiting a different character, many times with them giving really funky spoken word soliloquies, taken directly from her dream journal at the time (possibly after she'd drank the bong water).



Obscene & Pornographic Art.mp3

I ain't wearin' any underwear!
I ain't wearin' any underwear!

August 10, 2010

Pulsallama//Oui-Oui (A Canadian in Paris)

Let's talk about the French for a minute. Aren't they adorable? Oo, la, la! They've got the look and the sound to pull off just about anything. I dated a French guy with a penchant for day-glo serape and leggings combos and I still found him sexy. Have you heard Carla Bruni's album? It sucks. And yet, she's sexy too!

Pulsallama was an amazing all-girl percussion explosion that detonated in the East Village from 1980 - 1982, sadly without ever releasing a debut LP. Members included Ann Magnuson of Bongwater(!), Wendy Wild of the Mad Violets, and Jean Caffeine of All-Nite Truckstop along with Stacey Elkin, Charlotte Slivka, Katy K, Min Thometz, Judy Streng, Andé Whyland, Dany Johnson, Lori Montana, Kim Davis, April Palmieri, "and a cast of thousands" according to their Facebook page. You can read more about the genesis and destruction of Pulsallama on Jean's website. Check out this Flickr Stream by Robert Carrithers for some amazing shots of members of the band.

But enough of my prattling about how much I love these ladies. Check out this sweet song about their run in with an equally strange but sexy Frenchman!



Oui-Oui (A Canadian in Paris).mp3

Vive la France
I love the toast and the fries

August 9, 2010

Thee Oh Sees//Meat Step Lively

Welcome to Week Two of my little takeover of One Sweet Song! I thought I'd kick things off with a band I really love, Thee Oh Sees. They are a Bay-area band, fronted by John Dwyer of Coachwhips, Pink and Brown and The Hospitals (quite a prolific guy). I think the thing I love the most about Thee Oh Sees is Dwyer's voice; it's like a mix of Mark E. Smith and Fred Schneider.

Meat Step Lively is probably my favorite track off their last album, Help. I really dig the psych rock flute solo (I'm kind of a sucker for woodwinds). If you enjoy this track, you should definitely check out the rest of the album, as well as their previous one, The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In.



Meat Step Lively.mp3

Lost in a fog
And outside in
When he wishes he wishes to rebegin
But that is far from the truth

August 6, 2010

Twin Sister//Ginger

Local Music Fridays
What's up with Local Music Fridays?

Red heads have not had a great year so far; Conan got royally screwed by NBC, M.I.A. is releasing videos of them being persecuted in some kind of rusty-headed genocide, and it turns out many sun blocks may increase your likelihood of getting skin cancer, which our fair-skinned friends have to worry about more then most.

Thank God that tri-state area band Twin Sister have recorded this ode to them, entitled Ginger. Twin Sister has a very dreamy, lo-fi sound that I guess might lump them in with the Chillwave crowd. They've recently released an ep called Color Your Life but this track is from their debut ep, Vampires with Dreaming Kids.



Ginger.mp3

Lady make up your mind
What the rose or the gold
Baby pink little birds begin to unfold

August 5, 2010

Baby's Gang//Challenger

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there about Baby’s Gang, the artist behind today’s sweet song. Released on Memory Records in 1985, the titular track of their only album is, in fact, about the Challenger space shuttle. Yeah, that Challenger space shuttle. Talk about an ill-timed homage. But it’s sung by children… sweet, sweet, ESL children. Enjoy!



Challenger.mp3

There's a very special plane
People use to go in space
Challenger, Challenger
Challenger, you go so fast

August 4, 2010

Barbara Mason//Another Man

Ladies, can we talk for a minute. I mean really talk. Have you noticed your man doing anything… strange, lately? Does he linger just a little to long in front of the window display at Design Within Reach? Does he look better in those jeans that you wrestled away from some other bitch at Forever 21? Does some website called Manhunt.net keep showing up in your browser history? You got a problem!

Don’t worry, Barbara Mason understands your pain. Mason got her start as a singer/songwriter in 1965 with the Top 10 hit Yes, I’m Ready. She had several other singles that broke the Top 20 R&B charts throughout the rest of the 60s. By the 1980s she’d shed the saccharine image that had defined her early career and released what may very well be the first song about being on the dl, today's sweet song: Another Man off the 1984 album, Tied Up.

I actually stumbled on this song thanks to a mix created by yesterday’s OSS artist, oOoOO, for Seattle clothing store Actual Pain. While the homophobic tone is slightly sobering, this song is still a jam worth listening to. If we can reclaim the word queer, why can’t we reclaim this funky beat, too?



Another Man.mp3

I even saw them holding hands walking down Market St.
You know where that is?

August 2, 2010

oOoOO//Nosummer4u

Can you guys believe it’s already August? This is the time of year that New York City starts to smell like dreams deferred and baked garbage. That fleeting moment when our tough exteriors crack and all we want is for someone to take us away from it all. If there’s anyone out there who wants to sweep me off my feet, my preferred destination is the beach!

Today’s sweet song will be the soundtrack while I wait. oOoOO, the moniker of San Fransisco native Christopher Dexter Greenspan, paints a slightly melancholy but danceable vision of wasting the summer away waiting on that special someone.
According to some sources, oOoOO is at the forefront of a new movement called, among other things, “drag”, “witch house” or “haunted house”.

Regardless of his classification, Mr. Greenspan has created a perfect summer track and I can’t wait to hear more from him.



Nosummer4u.mp3

Take me to the water
Summertime, summertime
Maybe we can fall in love

Danzig//Mother

Guys, as of tomorrow, I am going away again for about two weeks. I KNOW! I’m never here. I’m like a wayward drifter, a multi-vacationing bum, a deadbeat dad.

But wait! Someone else is going to take care of you! Someone with excellent fashion sense, a heart of gold and impeccable taste in music.

Meet Ethan:


(and never mind why he’s holding a plate of Thanksgiving food).

Here are some things you should know about him:

1. He has two (visible) tattoos—one is of a record and one is an artistic rendering of a line from a Modest Mouse song.
2. He is responsible for this.
3. He is also responsible for this.
4. He has worked on Law and Order, which means he has some hilarious stories about quirky celebrities that you probably want to hear.
5. I call Ethan, and a handful of other people, “Mom.” That is a story that is too long to tell here.

I’m telling you all this because Ethan is going to take care of you while I’m gone, so please be nice to him. Listen to him. Take out the trash when he asks, because he’s Mom to me and he’s going to be like a Mother to you. Which brings me to this:



Mother.mp3

"Ethan," sung to the tune of "Mother":

Ethan,
Thank you for taking over this blog,
Thank you for writing a post a day,
Ohhhhhhh, Ethan.